Publication: Development of a Simple and Robust Kinetic Model for the
Production of Succinic Acid from Glucose Depending on
Different Operating Conditions
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Succinic acid (SA) is one of the main identified biomass-derived chemical building blocks. In this work we approach the study of its production by Actinobacillus succinogenes DSM 22257 from glucose, focusing on the development and application of a simple kinetic model capable of representing the evolution of the process over time for a great diversity of process variables key to the production of this platform bio-based chemical: initial biomass concentration, yeast extract concentration, agitation speed, and carbon dioxide flow rate. All these variables were studied experimentally, determining the values of key fermentation parameters: titer (23.8–39.7 g·L −1 ), yield (0.59–0.72 gSA·gglu −1 ), productivity (0.48–0.96 gSA·L −1 ·h −1 ), and selectivity (0.61–0.69 gSA·gglu −1 ). Even with this wide diversity of operational conditions, a non-structured and non-segregated kinetic model was suitable for fitting to experimental data with high accuracy, considering the values of the goodness-of-fit statistical parameters. This model is based on the logistic equation for biomass growth and on potential kinetic equations to describe the evolution of SA and the sum of by-products as production events that are not associated with biomass growth. The application of the kinetic model to diverse operational conditions sheds light on their effect on SA production. It seems that nitrogen stress is a good condition for SA titer and selectivity, there is an optimal inoculum mass for this purpose, and hydrodynamic stress starts at 300 r.p.m. in the experimental set-up employed. Due to its practical importance, and to validate the developed kinetic model, a fed-batch fermentation was also carried out, verifying the goodness of the model proposed via the process simulation (stage or cycle 1) and application to further cycles of the fed-batch operation. The results showed that biomass inactivation started at cycle 3 after a grace period in cycle 2.